JKOwners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the joke with my friends was this was not to be intended as rollcage.. it's not! Someone quickly dubbed it my "non-exo-cage-exo-cage". Here's what happened..

I was looking at the rust on/in my stock Rubicon sliders thinking "Idk if I should bother trying to rejuvenate these things or build my own." After a few minutes of surfing Google images and various forums I knew what I had to do; buy an inexpensive Harbor Freight pipe bender, modify it and then build my own sliders, just as many before me have.

*I should at this point state that I am not a competitive wheeler in any form, but I don't mall-crawl either. I DD my Rubicon, use it often as a pickup (hence the Gobi roof rack), go camping, wheel with friends when the opportunity arises and enjoy playing with it.. doors off in the summer and I'll go anywhere! I really don't care what others think of it because it's mine and I 'built' it the way I wanted it. I try to do as much work on it as I possibly can. Just about everything you see on it that was not obviously bought online was sketched out on scrap paper, pulled out of a scrapyard and then fabbed in my driveway. It's nothing more than a hobby.

I give credit where due and make my own adjustments along the way. It's also important that I do everything I can on a budget. I don't have the money to buy nice things (spent that on the Rubicon 7 years ago), so I make them however I can.

A short list of some of my mods leading up to this;
First it was simply chopping the stock plastic fenders (and the stock Rubicon rock rails for greater tire clearance)
Then the "not-so-stock stubby" with fogs and a hidden HFT 12k winch (http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59644)
Gobi roof rack light hoop/protector and homemade aluminum wind-deflector (visible in other photos). This was a Gobi Stealth rack, not the Ranger.
Inexpensive and lightweight rooftop tentcot (people seem to love this) (http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55585)
DOM Stinger on the cheap (see other photos)
Rear frame-mounted recovery d-rings (no thread, but visible in other photos)
CAI cowl snorkel and battery drop/relocation (I didn't do a write-up for that yet, but others have)
Doubled the usable space on my Gobi roof rack by welding additional bracing and steel mesh across the front half (no write-up yet, but it is really straight-forward)

Homemade sliders (less than $25 each- Home Depot 1" ID pipe and junkyard brackets)
My first problem with the stock Rubicon sliders was that they mounted to the body sheet metal and pitch-welds. I certainly don't care for that, seeing as how I already bent the body when I wacked something good on the trails. It was time to move to frame-mounted rails. I found a few heavy brackets in a junkyard and trimmed them to fit my application.






Now introducing the homemade bolt-on non-exo-exo-cage slider system.
While working on the rock-rails the thought came to me; "Why not add additional support for the roof rack with a B-pillar brace?" After all, at times the Gobi rack had sagged a bit and rubbed on the hard top. This would ensure I did not encounter this problem again, nor would the rack so easily shimmy from left to right when driving down pothole riddled NJ roads or trails. "Yes, I must do it!"

From there it seemed only logical to me that I run a brace from the B-pillar to the C-pillar to help deflect trees that come a little too close to my body and maybe create a step off that for easy roof access. I had previously dragged a tree along my roof rack, and a buddy of mine busted the side of his rig in (window included). He said this would have saved him most of that damage- minus the window.




Well, if I'm going to brace the rear of the body, shouldn't I balance the front half out, too? "Yup, better run a short A-pillar to the windshield brackets and out to the stinger." That poor stinger was hanging out there for too long all by lonesome; time to add some support bracing. After getting that all lined up and tack welded the front end still looked a bit incomplete. I decided to run a single bar over the grille tracing the hood line and tie the two long bars together. Much better.
*For those of you wondering why I ran the pipe in front of the headlights; I first mocked-up some pipe in front of the headlights and stood back in the street at night.. while in front of the Jeep I was still blinded by the stock headlight beam- you could NOT see the pipe interfering in any way. I guess because it's only a little over 1" OD and the headlights are so wide the light shines right around it. I noticed no difference with this setup and do not expect any DOT problems, as no one has ever hassled me about my Jeep. I don't drive like a jerk and I think the locals know me.










One of my biggest concerns of this project was making the cage removable, just as everything else on the Jeep was, so I did just that. Both sides unbolt from the frame, body and roof rack, as does the entire front clip and the stinger. I can remove every piece of pipe and stinger (the real rollcage DOM tube) in under 25 minutes... on my own. I did it yesterday in order to finish welding the tight spots along the body.
*See pics in the next comment below*

Next up is to paint the whole 'cage' and further secure the B-pillars to the roof rack. At the moment they are clamped tight with a couple u-bolts, but I'm going to weld new brackets up there and securely fasten them with a few heavy bolts.

All-in-all, it cost me less than $140 to do everything including sliders (not stinger or Gobi roof rack) and weighs in at about 100lbs. That's it. According to Home Depot, a 10ft length of 1" ID black [gas] pipe is about 16.8lbs, and I used about 714" * 0.14 lbs = 99.96lbs. Of course this is a rough estimate, but close.

Is it going to protect me from a rollover or crashing on my side? ABSOLUTELY NOT, but it does add support to my rack. I like my rock rails much more than factory, and it adds a little reinforcement to my stinger. I made it myself in a long weekend and I'm pleased. I should also add that I ditched the rear ladder that came with my roof rack in favor of the option to climb up the rear tire and that horizontal bar from the B to C-pillar. Sorry to say, that ladder didn't do anything for me, anyway. Good try though, Gobi. I still love my rack and highly recommend it!!

Note: I have also considered making a lightweight set of removable tube doors and mounting them on the cage. We'll see what happens this summer.. just a thought. I have a far more important project I need to get roadworthy now; 1972 RHD Mini imported from Manchester, UK! 1293cc, dual HS2 SUs, fast cam.. fun!! She's going to be my little British rally car.

If I may, here's my shameless plug- I need a new engine!
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180697
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Additional pics of the removable cage as promised




 

·
JKO Dickhead
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
While I truly admire your ingenuity..whats the purpose of it ? Purely aesthetic ? or a way to tie the roof rack into the sliders and add some support for more weight ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
While I truly admire your ingenuity..whats the purpose of it ? Purely aesthetic ? or a way to tie the roof rack into the sliders and add some support for more weight ?
Firstly, thank you- I am nothing more than a hobbyist.
Second, (not to be a jerk) but did you even read my [granted] long-winded post? I explained just about every piece of the build.
Rock rails to replace my rusted OEM crap.. the cage was mainly additional (central) support to the rack, 'less-extreme' tree-slider protection followed by easier access to the rack in the rear, and then support to the stinger. As it is not a full cage by any means (I have no gripes about saying that), some of it is aesthetic, though it does have a purpose. ;oP

I expected to be ridiculed by some guys for building something that wasn't a true exo-cage. People love to critique and fight over the dumbest crap online. I don't get it. To those people I say "don't do it to yours then". I really don't care; I'm just sharing something I did in 3-days time, on my own, in my driveway, on the seat of my pants. It is what it is.
 

·
JKO Dickhead
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
Firstly, thank you- I am nothing more than a hobbyist.
Second, (not to be a jerk) but did you even read my [granted] long-winded post? I explained just about every piece of the build.
Rock rails to replace my rusted OEM crap.. the cage was mainly additional (central) support to the rack, 'less-extreme' tree-slider protection followed by easier access to the rack in the rear, and then support to the stinger. As it is not a full cage by any means (I have no gripes about saying that), some of it is aesthetic, though it does have a purpose. ;oP

I expected to be ridiculed by some guys for building something that wasn't a true exo-cage. People love to critique and fight over the dumbest crap online. I don't get it. To those people I say "don't do it to yours then". I really don't care; I'm just sharing something I did in 3-days time, on my own, in my driveway, on the seat of my pants. It is what it is.
whoa...whoa.. dont get offended there buddy. i actually did read the whole post and saw that you explained the purpose of it..

I was more curious as to you replacing the rusted rock rails with plumbing pipe if your actually doing some wheeling, and your reasoning behind this ?

I agree that people will too easily criticize threads for alot of home brew stuff or budget built stuff... but on the other hand. People post their stuff because they think its cool and I applaud that. But then they expect everyone to say, that is awesome great work, i love it, and then get butthurt when they don't get the response they are looking for.

so with that said. it goes both ways, you don't want people to criticize it then don't do it. OR don't post it if you are able to expect some criticisms,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No offense taken- from your question it didn't look like you read it.
I can certainly take the criticism.. as I sad, I don't care if people care for it or not, I'm just sharing.

The rust on the stock Rubi rails were getting pretty bad, plus they mounted to the body; the pipe I chose is certainly thicker than the rails, and now is frame-mounted. As I said last time I wacked the stock rails on something it dented the body mount points.

I would rather try to build my own and beat on those then go online and buy what everyone else runs.. for me it's an excuse to try to do it myself.. make it different, and repair if necessary. If I am able to actually do damage to these rails with the kind of wheeling I do I'll be surprised, but not upset either.

A number of friends looked of these, including a comp-runner.. they feel I did a good job with them and after securing one more frame mount in the center they should handle just fine. With the caps welded on these I should be seeing any rust for some time, either.. The Rubi rails were never sealed.

I appreciate the feedback, Asmmns ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Good job going with your ideas and making them work for you.

Only suggestion / criticism I have is on the rock slider part. at the bottom where it ties into the tube maybe could have notched it a little more "flush" if you will just to keep it from having a spot to possibly catch on.

Overall looks like it's built to do it's job and keep the body from getting banged up while on the trail. Heck with your ability to remove it for your daily driving and bot it up for the trail. I don't care how ugly it looks on the trail as long as it does it's job to protect etc....

Good job.

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2912/14006702589_6901879d63_b.jpg



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You're absolutely right.. I commented to one of my friends that I needed to notch that mount and bang it up with a hammer, then weld it. I was in such a hurry to weld the other gaps before the rain came. This weekend I'll do that and paint.
Thanks for the feedback!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
First off, I would like to apologize if I am completely wrong, but as the tubing that you used is not structural tubing, so therefore wouldn't it be susceptible to bending and potentially damaging your tub?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
If I am leaning that heavily on anything it's not going to do any worse than if the pipe wasn't there.
 

·
JKO Dickhead
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
First off, I would like to apologize if I am completely wrong, but as the tubing that you used is not structural tubing, so therefore wouldn't it be susceptible to bending and potentially damaging your tub?
If I am leaning that heavily on anything it's not going to do any worse than if the pipe wasn't there.
That was my point.. wouldn't the stock rails offer more protection ?

and aren't the rails mounted to the body mounts and not frame mounted ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
That was my point.. wouldn't the stock rails offer more protection ?

and aren't the rails mounted to the body mounts and not frame mounted ?
Splitting hairs.. the body mounts are welded to the frame. I'm bolted to that.. I'd rather be mounted there than to the pinch seams on the sheet metal. Besides, when I go back to the junkyard I'll get some angle iron to secure a central mount off the frame directly.
 

·
JKO Dickhead
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
Splitting hairs.. the body mounts are welded to the frame. I'm bolted to that..
Not even close.....you are bolted to a rubber bushing that is a body mount. That is not considered Frame Mounted.

I'm done here !
 

·
R.I.P. Mr. Nibbles!
Joined
·
8,956 Posts
I dig the idea of adding real load handling to the rack, my criticism of the design is the foundation of the sliders.

The way you mounted those galvanized "feet", you effectively fused the tub to the frame by wedging those feet in that position. Those body bolts/washers are intended to float up and down over bumps and when the body needs to move. Plus, if you look at most slider designs, they use either .250 or .1875 plate to form the attachments along with a tie in to the body at the pinch seam when they use the body bolts, that junkyard bracket looks to be neither. Expect those to fold the first time you take a hard impact, thus, throwing the whole thing out of whack.

Not putting down the work or the idea, just trying to point out what could be a real problem, if those sliders buckle, more than likely you'll end up with damage elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Not even close.....you are bolted to a rubber bushing that is a body mount. That is not considered Frame Mounted.
I am not based on the rubber body mounts though. I am metal/metal. It may not be clear enough in the photos. There are several outfitters that bolt to these points.
I also said my friend (the comp runner) suggested adding one central frame mount, so I'll get to that soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I dig the idea of adding real load handling to the rack, my criticism of the design is the foundation of the sliders.

The way you mounted those galvanized "feet", you effectively fused the tub to the frame by wedging those feet in that position. Those body bolts/washers are intended to float up and down over bumps and when the body needs to move. Plus, if you look at most slider designs, they use either .250 or .1875 plate to form the attachments along with a tie in to the body at the pinch seam when they use the body bolts, that junkyard bracket looks to be neither. Expect those to fold the first time you take a hard impact, thus, throwing the whole thing out of whack.

Not putting down the work or the idea, just trying to point out what could be a real problem, if those sliders buckle, more than likely you'll end up with damage elsewhere.
I hear what you're saying.. I'll definitely be looking into additional support bracing to the frame. Thanks
 

·
JKO Dickhead
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
I am not based on the rubber body mounts though. I am metal/metal. It may not be clear enough in the photos. There are several outfitters that bolt to these points.
There are several companies that mount sliders in this same position.. they call them body mounted sliders... Just saying, as you now seem to have somewhat acknowledged, that your are not frame mounted. That is all

There is a rubber bushing used between your mounting points to allow cushion and vibration dampening for the body, the design is made so that there is movement here. Frame mounted sliders are made so that they are either bolted or welded to the FRAME so that they do not allow movement.

I had a set of Smitty rock rails that mount very similar to your design. First time they touched rocks them moved up about two inches and pushed the rocker in.. so be prepared for additional tub and rocker damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Can't wait.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,426 Posts
Well, I give you a thumbs up for your ingenuity and DIY spirit. Hope that your design serves your needs and happy trails.:beer:
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top